Rare and emerging subtypes of leukemia can be incredibly challenging to diagnose and even more challenging to treat. At the NCCN 2019 Annual Congress: Hematologic Malignancies, a panel of experts, moderated by Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, were presented with particularly challenging cases in these malignancies and asked to discuss best approaches to treatment.
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A heterogeneous group of diseases, lymphomas encompass a range of diagnoses that call for varied treatment approaches. Although some lymphomas require minimal intervention for cure or remission, others can be very difficult to treat and are associated with poor outcomes. At the NCCN 2019 Annual Congress: Hematologic Malignancies, a panel of experts used 3 case studies to develop an evidence-based approach for the treatment of patients with lymphomas. Moderated by Ranjana H. Advani, MD, the session focused on peripheral T-cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Managing patients with plasma cell neoplasms, diseases in which abnormal plasma cells or myeloma cells form tumors in the bones or soft tissues of the body, poses numerous challenges for clinicians. At the NCCN 2019 Annual Congress: Hematologic Malignancies, a panel of experts discussed evidenced-based approaches for the treatment of patients with these diseases. Moderated by Dr. Andrew D. Zelenetz, the session focused on patients with transplant-ineligible newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, active multiple myeloma, and light chain amyloidosis.
Nina N. Sanford, Todd A. Aguilera, Michael R. Folkert, Chul Ahn, Brandon A. Mahal, Herbert Zeh, Muhammad S. Beg, John Mansour and David J. Sher
Background: Adjuvant therapy for resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma was given a category 1 NCCN recommendation in 2000, yet many patients do not receive chemotherapy after definitive surgery. Whether sociodemographic disparities exist for receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy is poorly understood. Methods: The National Cancer Database was used to identify patients diagnosed with nonmetastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma who underwent definitive surgery from 2004 through 2015. Multivariable logistic regression defined the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) and associated 95% CI of receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy. Among patients receiving chemotherapy, multivariable logistic regression assessed the odds of treatment with multiagent chemotherapy. Results: Among 18,463 patients, 11,288 (61.1%) received any adjuvant chemotherapy. Sociodemographic factors inversely associated with receipt of any adjuvant chemotherapy included uninsured status (aOR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.50–0.74), Medicaid insurance (aOR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.57–0.77), and lower income (P<.001 for all income levels compared with ≥$46,000). Black race (aOR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.57–0.90) and female sex (aOR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.65–0.86) were associated with lower odds of receiving multiagent chemotherapy. There was a statistically significant interaction term between black race and age/comorbidity status (P=.03), such that 26.4% of black versus 35.8% of nonblack young (aged ≤65 years) and healthy (Charlson-Deyo comorbidity score 0) patients received multiagent adjuvant chemotherapy (P=.006), whereas multiagent adjuvant chemotherapy rates were similar among patients who were not young and healthy (P=.15). Conclusions: In this nationally representative study, receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy appeared to be associated with sociodemographic characteristics, independent of clinical factors. Sociodemographic differences in receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy may represent a missed opportunity for improving outcomes and a driver of oncologic disparities.
Kevin M. Elias, Ross S. Berkowitz and Neil S. Horowitz
Gestational trophoblastic disease refers to a series of interrelated tumors arising from the placenta, including benign molar pregnancies as well as the malignant conditions termed gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN). GTN most commonly follows a molar pregnancy but may develop after any gestation. The wide availability of first trimester ultrasound and serum human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) measurement has changed the presentation of molar pregnancy in recent decades from a second trimester to a first trimester disease, such that most patients have few symptoms at diagnosis. With identification of molar pregnancy at earlier gestations, accurate diagnosis increasingly relies on expert histopathology coupled with ancillary molecular and genetic techniques. However, earlier diagnosis has not changed the risk of postmolar GTN. Although most molar pregnancies are treated with dilation and curettage, hysterectomy may be appropriate in select cases when future fertility is not desired. After treatment of molar pregnancy, close surveillance with serial hCG monitoring is essential to diagnose GTN and identify the need for chemotherapy. Physicians following hCG levels should understand the performance characteristics of the test, including common causes of false-positive and false-negative results. After a diagnosis of postmolar GTN is made, selection of single-agent or multiagent chemotherapy depends on accurate assignment of the clinical stage and risk stratification by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) prognostic scoring system. Surgical treatment of postmolar low-risk GTN, including both second uterine curettage and hysterectomy, may decrease subsequent need for or duration of chemotherapy. Cure rates for postmolar low-risk GTN approach 100%, and subsequent pregnancy outcomes for patients reflect those of the general population.
Daniel A. Pollyea
Over the past several years, drug approvals for first-line treatment of acute myeloid leukemia have changed the landscape from a “wasteland” to an “embarrassment of riches.” In general, patients deemed “fit” for induction chemotherapy who have a core-binding factor abnormality should receive 7 + 3 in combination with gemtuzumab, 7 + 3 with midostaurin for those with an FLT3 abnormality, and liposomal cytarabine + daunorubicin for patients with secondary AML. Although other options exist, Dr. Daniel A. Pollyea recommended a venetoclax/azacitidine regimen for newly diagnosed “unfit” patients. Future research should focus on more clearly determining the definition of a “fit” patient, he said at the NCCN 2019 Annual Congress: Hematologic Malignancies.
Elio Mazzone, Sophie Knipper, Francesco A. Mistretta, Carlotta Palumbo, Zhe Tian, Andrea Gallina, Derya Tilki, Shahrokh F. Shariat, Francesco Montorsi, Fred Saad, Alberto Briganti and Pierre I. Karakiewicz
Background: Use of inpatient palliative care (IPC) in the treatment of advanced cancer represents a well-established guideline recommendation. A recent analysis showed that patients with genitourinary cancer benefit from IPC at the second lowest rate among 4 examined primary cancers, namely lung, breast, colorectal, and genitourinary. Based on this observation, temporal trends and predictors of IPC use were examined in patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (mUCB) receiving critical care therapies (CCTs). Patients and Methods: Patients with mUCB receiving CCTs were identified within the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database (2004–2015). IPC use rates were evaluated in estimated annual percentage change (EAPC) analyses. Multivariable logistic regression models with adjustment for clustering at the hospital level were used. Results: Of 1,944 patients with mUCB receiving CCTs, 191 (9.8%) received IPC. From 2004 through 2015, IPC use increased from 0.7% to 25.0%, respectively (EAPC, +23.9%; P<.001). In analyses stratified according to regions, the highest increase in IPC use was recorded in the Northeast (EAPC, +44.0%), followed by the West (EAPC, +26.8%), South (EAPC, +22.9%), and Midwest (EAPC, +15.5%). Moreover, the lowest rate of IPC adoption in 2015 was recorded in the Midwest (14.3%). In multivariable logistic regression models, teaching status (odds ratio [OR], 1.97; P<.001), more recent diagnosis (2010–2015; OR, 3.89; P<.001), and presence of liver metastases (OR, 1.77; P=.02) were associated with higher IPC rates. Conversely, Hispanic race (OR, 0.42; P=.03) and being hospitalized in the Northeast (OR, 0.36; P=.01) were associated with lower rate of IPC adoption. Finally, patients with a primary admission diagnosis that consisted of infection (OR, 2.05; P=.002), cardiovascular disorders (OR, 2.10; P=.03), or pulmonary disorders (OR, 2.81; P=.005) were more likely to receive IPC. Conclusions: The rate of IPC use in patients with mUCB receiving CCTs sharply increased between 2004 and 2015. The presence of liver metastases, infections, or cardiopulmonary disorders as admission diagnoses represented independent predictors of higher IPC use. Conversely, Hispanic race, nonteaching hospital status, and hospitalization in the Midwest were identified as independent predictors of lower IPC use and represent targets for efforts to improve IPC delivery in patients with mUCB receiving CCT.
Ranjana H. Advani
Several options are available for frontline treatment of advanced-stage Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and treatment of relapsed HL, each with inherent advantages and disadvantages. Clinicians must balance risk with benefit for the individual patient. At the NCCN 2019 Annual Congress: Hematologic Malignancies, Dr. Ranjana H. Advani summarized the current frontline treatment options for advanced-stage HL and outlined novel and emerging agents that may be incorporated as therapy options for relapsed disease.
Urshila Durani, Dennis Asante, Thorvardur Halfdanarson, Herbert C. Heien, Lindsey Sangaralingham, Carrie A. Thompson, Prema Peethambaram, Fernando J. Quevedo and Ronald S. Go
Background: Adherence to surveillance guidelines in resected colon cancer has significant implications for patient morbidity, cost of care, and healthcare utilization. This study measured the underuse and overuse of imaging for staging and surveillance in stage I–II colon cancer. Methods: The OptumLabs database was queried for administrative claims data on adult patients with stage I–II colon cancer who underwent surgery alone in 2008 through 2016. Use of PET and CT imaging was evaluated during both initial staging (n=6,921) and surveillance for patients with at least 1 year of follow-up (n=5,466). “High use” was defined as >2 CT abdominal/pelvic (CT A/P) or PET scans per year during surveillance. Results: Overall, 27% of patients with stage I–II colon cancer did not have a staging CT A/P or PET scan and 95% did not have a CT chest scan. However, rates of staging CT A/P and CT chest scans increased from 62.0% (2008) to 74.8% (2016) and from 2.3% (2008) to 7.1% (2016), respectively. Staging PET use was overall very low (5.2%). During surveillance, approximately 30% of patients received a CT A/P or PET and 5% received a CT chest scan within the first year after surgery. Of patients who had surveillance CT A/P or PET scans, the proportion receiving >2 scans within the first year (high use) declined from 32.4% (2008) to 9.6% (2016) (P = .01). Conclusions: Although PET use remains appropriately low, many patients with stage I–II colon cancer do not receive appropriate staging and surveillance CT chest scans. Among those who do receive these scans during surveillance, high use has declined significantly over time.